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Malcolm Glazer

(1928 - )

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Malcolm Irving Glazer (born May 25, 1928 in Rochester, New York) is an American businessman and sports-team owner. He is president and chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation, a holding company for his varied business interests, most notably in the food processing industry. He holds controlling stakes in England’s Manchester United Football Club and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a National Football League team located in western Florida, United States.

Glazer was the fifth of seven children in a Jewish household. He inherited his father’s wholesale jewelry business. At that time he had just $300 to his name. Within five years he started investing in other businesses.

The business first expanded into property, buying several mobile home (or “trailer”) parks in the 1970s, mainly in the Florida area. He went on to become president and chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation, a U.S. holding company for his various business interests, such as food processing, marine supplies, health care, real estate, energy exploration, and broadcasting.

Malcolm Glazer now lives in Palm Beach, Florida. He is married to Linda and has five sons and one daughter: Avram, Kevin, Bryan, Joel, Darcie and Edward. Three of them (Joel, Bryan and Edward), are vice-presidents in First Allied. He runs a wide-ranging business empire that includes shopping centers and nursing homes.

On 16 April 2006, Glazer suffered a stroke causing impaired speech and loss of mobility in his right arm and leg. At the time, his son Joel said “My father’s spirits are high and doctors expect his condition to improve with rehabilitation,” but after spending much of the intervening period in the hospital, Glazer suffered a second stroke in May, 2006.

Glazer’s first attempt at a corporate takeover was in 1984, when he launched an unsuccessful 7.6 billion dollar bid to buy the bankrupt freight rail company, US Conrail. He also failed in an attempted takeover of kitchen designer Formica in 1988 and, later, with motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson.

One of the companies that Glazer did purchase successfully was the nearly bankrupt Zapata, an oil and gas company founded by George H. W. Bush. Glazer successfully diversified it into fish protein and Caribbean supermarkets.

Glazer has owned a diverse portfolio of nationwide investments which include food service equipment, food packaging and food supplies, marine protein, broadcasting, health care, property, banking, natural gas and oil, the Internet, stocks and bonds and even sausage skins makers.

Since 1995, Malcolm Glazer has been the owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a National Football League franchise, after paying $192 million to buy the team following the death of former owner Hugh Culverhouse. The front office staff of the team includes Bryan Glazer, Edward Glazer and Joel Glazer.

The Glazer family was enticed by Baltimore with plans for a new more profitable stadium, but stayed in Florida after the city of Tampa passed legislation for and a new state-of-the-art stadium Raymond James Stadium. It was built in Tampa to retain the team and replaced the old dated Tampa Stadium that was maligned by sportscaster Chris Berman as the “Big Sombrero” for its shape. In 2007, the franchise was valued at $963 million by Forbes magazine.

Prior to Glazer ownership, the Buccaneers were perennial losers, maligned by others as the Yuccaneers and other derogatory names. The hiring of qualified football coaches and office staff quickly turned around the franchise and in a short few years the team was a playoff contender. In the 1999 season the team, then coached by Tony Dungy, was defeated in the NFC championship game by the heavily favored St. Louis Rams by a score of 11-6 in a game in which the Bucs and their defensive-minded scheme nearly pulled a major upset. In the 2002 season, the first season with new coach Jon Gruden, the Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders for their first Super Bowl victory. Gruden had coached the Raiders the previous season.

In May 2005, Glazer paid $1.47 billion for 28.7 percent of English Premier League football team Manchester United, following a nearly year-long takeover battle. The takeover was fiercely opposed by many fans of Manchester United, who organised themselves in the form of the independent Manchester United Supporters’ Trust (formerly Shareholders United), partly because the Glazer takeover saddled the club with a large debt (over $850m) and interest that comes with it (approx £60 million a year) but also due to many fans’ belief that the club should be in the hands of fans and not business men. The mainly match-going fans object to the escalating ticket prices at a time when the club receives more money than ever from TV and sponsorship deals. Supporters of Manchester United in other parts of the world, such as North America and the Far East, have, in relative terms, looked upon the transition in ownership with relative dispassion. Since the deal went through Malcolm Glazer himself has played little visible role at the club, which seems to be run mainly by his children, several of whom are club directors, while he is not. However, the club has been successful since his takeover and has continued spending large amounts of money to attract the best players to the club. The team has won several Premier League titles and in 2008 won the UEFA Champions League.

For the most part, the Glazer family has fulfilled their promise that they will not interfere too much with the daily business at United, leaving the business part of the club to David Gill, and allowing maximum freedom for Sir Alex in the sporting part of the club.

Sources: Wikipedia

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